Friday, July 12, 2024

Government and Strategic Partner Sign Partnership Agreement for the Implementation of the Mphanda Nkuwa Hydropower Project

The Government of Mozambique, through the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy (MIREME), represented by the Mphanda Nkuwa Hydropower Project Implementation Office (GMNK), Electricidade de Moçambique (EDM), Hidroeléctrica da Cahora Bassa (HCB) and the Strategic Partner signed two Partnership Agreements for the Implementation of the Mphanda Nkuwa Hydropower Project in Maputo, today, formalising the partner’s entry into the project.

The Strategic Partner, the selected consortium led by Electricité de France (EDF), made up of TotalEnergies and Sumitomo Corporation, will develop, build and operate the Mphanda Nkuwa hydropower project, with an estimated investment value of 5 billion US dollars.

The Franco-Japanese consortium is the majority shareholder, with 70% stake in the venture, EDM and HCB will take the remaining 30%. The strategic partner will also support EDM in the development of the high-voltage power transmission line.

The project involves the construction of a dam and hydropower plant with a production capacity of 1,500MW for phase 1, on the Zambezi River in the province of Tete, northern Mozambique.

The Mphanda Nkuwa hydropower plant is seen as vital for boosting Mozambique’s economy, providing abundant and competitive clean energy for major industrial projects, an electrification programme and exporting the surplus to the region.

Mphanda Nkuwa is considered a central pillar of the energy transition strategy recently approved by the Mozambican Government for the coming decades.

With these agreements, in addition to access to competitive private capital and concessional public funding, Mozambicans will have access to the best international practices in the various fields, proven and modern technology, training and certification of Mozambican staff and qualitative long-term jobs.

The implementation of the project will also include resettlement initiatives, environmental compensation, local and regional socio-economic development, in accordance with national and international practices and legislation, with the technical assistance of development partners and multilateral financial institutions.

“The signing of these agreements in the presence of HE President of the Republic is in itself a historic milestone and an unquestionable demonstration of the government’s commitment to this process and the project,” said Carlos Yum, Managing Director of the Mphanda Nkuwa Hydropower Project Implementation Office.

In signing the agreement, the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Dr Carlos Zacarias, stressed the potential of the Mphanda Nkuwa project to leverage a new era of hydropower project renaissance in Mozambique to accelerate the energy transition and green industrialisation.

“This is the first concrete step for Mozambique to capitalise on the immense hydropower potential of the Zambezi River and the country’s other energy resources, to provide low-cost electricity for our population and industry, and to position itself as a regional exporter of clean, renewable energy,” said Carlos Zacarias.

“For France, Mozambique is a strategic partner in the region: as our neighbour (our shores are only 400km away!) and as our friend. We strongly believe its sustainable development is key for the stability and the prosperity of the whole region. This project sets a powerful example of the ambition we share with Mozambique: making sure our partner is able to provide clean energy to all its citizens; and tapping its full potential in renewable energies. We trust Mozambique will soon count among the leaders of hydropower in the region!” states Chrysoula ZACHAROPOULOU, French Minister of State for Development, Francophonie and International Partnerships.

According to the timeline presented, the first turbine should be operating in 2031. The strategic partner selection and the signing of these agreements is the culmination of a competitive, rigorous and transparent process that began in June 2022.

The event was attended by the Head of State, HE the President of the Republic, members of the Government, the Secretary of State representing the French Government, Mrs Zacharopoulou, representatives of the Diplomatic Corps accredited in Mozambique, representatives of the companies in the selected consortium, the chairpersons of EDM and HCB and other public companies, businesspeople, among others.


With an estimated cost of 5 billion US dollars, the Mphanda Nkuwa Hydropower project includes the development of a run-of-river dam, located 61 kilometres downstream from Cahora Bassa, on the Zambezi River in Tete province. A hydropower plant with an installed capacity of up to 1,500 megawatts and a high-voltage power transmission line from Tete to Maputo of approximately 1,300 kilometres.

The project is being implemented in strict compliance with internationally accepted global Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) standards and tools for mitigating negative impacts and maximising positive aspects, project evaluation and certification, which prioritise the creation of opportunities for local communities and minimise and mitigate adverse impacts on biodiversity heritage.

The project will be the lowest cost option for energy generation. It will position Mozambique as a regional energy hub, contributing to universal access and industrialisation, job creation, technical training and energy exports. The Mphanda Nkuwa project will be fundamental to the process of energy transition and decarbonisation in the southern region of the African continent.

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